What was your overall impression of the game?
We were happy that the players responded from last week. It was really pleasing to see the attitude and the intensity of the players today, particularly our midfield who got to work and competed as hard as we’ve seen them in this format of football.
We played 16 v 16 and Adelaide provided a really good blend of senior and younger players. It was a good test to see where our guys are at.
Fremantle were on top for most of the first three quarters, what happened in the final term?
It was a little bit of inexperience. We lost some of our structure across the ground, which has been a key message from Justin Longmuir. It’s mainly the shape of our midfield and forwards when the ball is going forward.
We lost by five points but ultimately, it was three quarters of really sustained hard footy and then the fourth quarter, we didn’t play exactly the way we would like to.
We allowed Adelaide back into the game and from that perspective, it was a little disappointing, but there were certainly some highlights.
Who impressed you today?
Lloyd Meek really stepped up in the ruck. He played the entire game without relief in the ruck and showed immense character and competed hard all day.
How did the midfield go?
It was a good return to footy for Blake Acres, which was really pleasing. He played on the wing and in the midfield and did some really positive things.
Mitch Crowden, Connor Blakely, Luke Valente and Tom North, as well as Michael Frederick out on the wing, they showed some definite improvements in their individual games and collectively, I think they can hold their heads high in terms of what they were able to offer around the stoppages.
Hugh Dixon returned to playing football, how was he?
Hugh’s been building his fitness back to the level we would expect from a young key forward. Hugh’s taken on the challenge of getting up to that level really well.
He learnt a lot and today he competed well in the air. He kicked a beautiful goal out of the stoppage in the first quarter and it was good to see him back out on the field and competing.
Hugh’s ground level pressure was a real feature of his game in his tackling, chase and repeat effort.
How did the other forwards go?
We played with a five-man forward line and had another midfielder going through there.
The forwards, particularly with Cam McCarthy, Bailey Banfield and Brandon Matera, played some really structured footy. We didn’t capitalise on some of the shots on goal that we had to hurt the opposition more on the scoreboard. We allowed Adelaide to stay in the game, which gave them the opportunity to get in front at the end.
And the back line?
They showed some improvement from the previous week. They probably lowered their colours the week before against Gold Coast. Tobe Watson certainly showed improvement in that area. Jarvis Pina put his body on the line and really worked on providing the rebound that we wanted.
We’ve still got a fair amount of work to do with our young backs in terms of their ability to lock down and shut down opponents when the time comes. At the same time, they were all improving on working as a unit.
Anything else to take from the game?
It was another game where we didn’t have any injuries, which gives us great player availability. We had 17 players available today and hopefully we get a couple more back this week. We could have potentially 19 players available when we take on Gold Coast again this Friday.
There’s also the bonus of playing in this environment, they’re playing against other AFL listed players.
From that perspective, it was encouraging. It’s been a really positive aspect of the hub, playing against legitimate AFL players every week.